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Save our iconic red phone box, urges Chester resident

The old landmark on Overleigh Road can be transferred to the community for just £1

The old phone box is on Overleigh Road in Handbridge(Image: Google Maps)

A Chester resident is seeking community support to save an old ‘iconic’ red phone box from removal.

The shabby BT phone box on Overleigh Road in Handbridge is set to be extracted from the site sometime next year.

Earlier this month Charlotte Jobse from Westminster Park contacted the phone company to find out the fate of the structure.

She was told that removal has been proposed but objections can be made to Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officers.

It will then be possible for the community to ‘adopt’ the phone box for just £1 as long as they agree to continue with its upkeep.

She said: “I think the phone box deserves to be saved as it’s part of British culture and a British icon recognised throughout the world.

“It’s very important to preserve our past British heritage for future generations.

“I would love to see this phone box adopted for £1 by the community of Handbridge to restore it back to its former glory and let public opinion put forward ideas of what they want it to be used for.”

Charlotte posted the news on the Chester Memory Lane Facebook page and has already received several offers of support.

One person wrote: “Great project. If you tear down your past, you have no heritage! Get behind Charlotte Jobse as she seems to be going in the right direction.”

Another said: “I’d be prepared to cover £50 towards its acquisition and future upkeep!”

The Handbridge community can buy the phone box from BT for £1

Several people suggested turning it into a book exchange for the community of Handbridge while Charlotte offered her own unique suggestion.

“It could be used as Handbridge’s own tourist information centre with a map displayed showing interesting touristic spots, walks and cycle routes, pictures of Handbridge through the years and its history, and information for hotels and B&Bs, restaurants and local retail.

“So lets spread the word and save this iconic red phone box and take it back into our community before its too late.”

Since BT launched the Adopt a Kiosk scheme, more than 3,500 communities across the UK have seized the opportunity.

A spokesperson for BT said: “The growth of the mobile phone industry has inevitably meant phone box usage has dropped dramatically, and nearly half of the phone boxes in the UK have been removed, but there are still around 8,000 red phone boxes which can be adopted.

“We’re giving communities the opportunity to get back in touch with their local phone box, to make them once again an asset that local people can enjoy.

“And that doesn’t mean you have to make phone calls from them.”

Phone boxes across the country have been turned into defibrillator containers, shoe shine stands, miniature art galleries and coffee shops.

For more details on adopting a phone box in your area click here.

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